The Finest Vintage
A clubhouse poised to set a new standard for excellence.
IMAGES BY JIM BARTSCH PHOTOGRAPHY
Towering palm trees, impeccably spaced, line an entry drive that soon reveals a lake shimmering in the sunlight. Beyond the water, emerald fairways undulate like calm waves at the foot of majestic Eisenhower Mountain.
Uncork a premium Bordeaux and you give your senses a reason to rejoice. A rich clarity distinguishes its garnet hue. A swirl of your glass releases a distinct and alluring fragrance. One taste imparts flavors that have mellowed and deepened with age. And the finish is sheer perfection.
Entering The Vintage Club in Indian Wells imparts this type of superlative sensory experience. Massive clusters of scarlet bougainvillea and a cascading waterfall drape the security gate of this private residential country club. A floral fragrance scents the breeze. Towering palm trees, impeccably spaced, line an entry drive that soon reveals a lake shimmering in the sunlight. Beyond the water, emerald fairways undulate like calm waves at the foot of majestic Eisenhower Mountain.
More than three decades have passed since developers Mick Humphreys and Joe Seiger chose this idyllic 712-acre setting to create what they envisioned as a flagship property for luxury residential country clubs. Their final blueprint consisted of about 500 residences, two championship golf courses, and a clubhouse poised to set a new standard for excellence. Since its inception, The Vintage Club has garnered numerous awards for its outstanding golf and amenities, with Club Leaders Forum bestowing its coveted Platinum Club award on The Vintage in 2003, 2006, and 2009. Golf Digest recently ranked the two 18-hole Tom Fazio golf courses among the best in the nation.
Humphreys expected that The Vintage Club would take its place among elite communities in terms of its peerless architecture and amenities. What he did not anticipate was the high caliber of its membership. The Vintage boasts several titans of industry among its 475 members. Yet membership has nothing to do with money or status, Humphreys asserts, but rather character and compatibility.
Vintage Club Board Member Bill Siart agrees. Golf and tennis drew him to The Vintage 22 years ago. The deep, enduring friendships he and his wife have forged with fellow members were an unforeseen blessing. The Siarts socialize and vacation off-property with many of their Vintage friends during the summer.
The level of camaraderie among the residents is incomparable. When they are at home, the members are relaxed and friendly, with absolutely no airs or pretensions whatsoever.
The Vintage Club is recognized for its family-friendly environment, hosting several elaborate youth-oriented activities during major holidays. Members pull out all the stops to entertain children with special Kids’ Kamps, Easter egg hunts, petting zoos, radio-controlled boat racing, fishing derbies, junior golf tournaments, and more. Outdoor billiards, foosball, table tennis, basketball, volleyball, and badminton within a dedicated Sport Court zone also encourage teen and family recreation.
General Manager Thomas M. Murphy, a 30-year country club industry veteran who supervises a staff of nearly 300, feels privileged to oversee Vintage Club operations. “I feel like I’ve died and gone to heaven to be able to manage this club for these members,” he says. “They’re really, really terrific people.”
The members’ pride in and passion for the community are evident, as is their desire to maintain the club’s high standard of living and first-class amenities.
In 2008, The Vintage Club completed an impressive 18,000-square-foot Fitness and Wellness Center. In addition to the latest in cardiovascular, circuit training, and weight equipment, the center features a golf studio with state-of-the-art swing analysis, seven spa treatment rooms, locker room, showers, steam room, relaxation lounge, and Pilates and Gyrotonics studio. The club also constructed a new swimming pool, showers, and locker room within the adjacent swim complex and added Palm Court, an 8,000-square-foot poolside restaurant offering casual dining.
After doubling the size of the driving range and reconfiguring five holes, the club enhanced the golf experience of its famed Mountain Course in fall 2010. Known for its distinct patterning of pot bunkers, twisting moguls, and spectacular views, the 6,907-yard Mountain Course offers an incomparable day of play. The 6,322-yard Desert Course blends dramatic water features with indigenous landscaping and high-angle moguls to render a golf outing that is no less enticing. As no tee times are required, members enjoy easy access on both courses.
Novice and accomplished tennis players find their sweet spot on 11 courts: nine hard surfaces and two Har-Tru clay, all lit for nighttime play. The Tennis Center boasts an active program, as well as a sunken stadium court that seats up to 1,000 spectators for tournaments or concerts under starlit skies.
Five acres of lakes reflect off polished marble and glass in The Vintage Club’s epicenter of social activities: its stunning, 85,000-square-foot clubhouse. Many members enjoy daily dining in the Grille Room, savoring tantalizing culinary creations, live musical entertainment, and an extensive wine cellar. The social scene intensifies during season, with an active event calendar that runs the gamut from jazz and wine dinners, high-energy dance parties, and black-tie galas to lobster cookouts, a cruiser bike festival, and a variety of golf and tennis tournaments. The club also hosts an autobiographical “Inside Stories” forum three times a year. One of the club’s accomplished members — and there are many — speaks on his or her topic of expertise.
Because so many Vintage residents value higher education, the community established The Vintage Employees Scholarship Fund in 2002. The nonprofit Desert Community Foundation manages the fund, which has helped Vintage employees and their children — more than 100 students to date — pursue college educations or professional/technical training programs.
The Vintage Club also has embraced sustainability. Collective initiatives include recycling paper; using eco-friendly chemicals that dissolve within 6 inches of groundwater; and installing energy-efficient lighting, pumps, and HVAC systems. Many members are investing in solar energy for their houses.
Privacy is paramount at The Vintage; so is safety. With 35 full-time security officers and a proprietary, state-of-the-art system, the property has a security infrastructure that would rival any top government agency. In fact, the FBI and U.S. Secret Service have already paid a visit to inspect the technology and its possibilities. “I don’t know any other club in the world that has security like The Vintage Club,” Murphy says.
An on-site sales office offers a selection of condominiums starting at $500,000 and a variety of single-family residences for $2,295,000 and up, nearing $20 million. A few vacant lots remain (www.thevintageclub.com).
Siart heads the committee responsible for new membership development. The process, he says, is straightforward and designed to enhance the connection members have with the community and each other. Applicants must be sponsored by two Vintage Club members, have a residence in escrow, undergo reference checks, and interview with the committee. All the members, individually and as a whole, set the foundation for an extraordinary environment — one that fosters lifetime friendships and mirrors the experience of a five-star resort.
From almost anywhere in the club, members enjoy beautiful vistas punctuated by flowers and waterfalls.
Two full-service restaurants serve fine dining, casual meals, snacks by the pool, or catered meals in members’ homes. Members can work out, pamper themselves with spa treatments, play tennis and golf, attend social events, and dine in great restaurants without ever leaving the club.
In fact, there are times when members laugh about how many days it’s been since they’ve actually left the property.